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EXCLUSIVE – OpenGov recognises 11 Singapore government agencies in their efforts to support Singapore’s Smart Nation drive

The OpenGov Recognition of Excellence (RoE) 2018 recognised 11 Singapore government agencies for improving the lives of citizens through the use of digital technology. The RoE aims to set new benchmarks for government ICT innovation in the ASEAN and ANZ regions.

On 17 May, held in conjunction with the Singapore OpenGov Leadership Forum, OpenGov RoE 2018 recognised the efforts of 11 Singapore government agencies for their work in building Singapore towards being a Smart Nation. The government agencies have achieved excellence in using ICT to make government smarter, more agile, more efficient and more transparent – ultimately improving the lives of the citizens.

The 11 agencies that were recognised for their work in building Singapore towards being a Smart Nation were (in alphabetical order):

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

‍Dr Govindasamy Rajasekaran, Head, ITSS

OpenGov recognised A*STAR for its Federated Identity Management (FIM) system and electronic Chemicals, Biomaterials, Gases Management System (eCBMS) system.

FIM is an Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS) shared services developed to allow automated web-based authentication and authorisation of Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) end-users in Singapore. Staff, researchers, and students can access e-Resources offered by the National Super Computing Centre (NSCC) and SingAREN, without the need to change existing usernames or passwords of their home IHLs. The developed identity management system removes the risk of user keying errors, as the users are automatically authenticated against their home organisation. The system also supports the users to access services across various organisations.

eCBMS is the first integrated chemical inventory management and procurement system in A*STAR.  The system allows better legal compliance and reduces the time required by researchers to manually maintain and update their inventory. It has been estimated that CGMS will help to reduce more than 16,000 man hours annually, that has been otherwise spent on inventory updates, maintenance and generating monthly inventory necessary for legal compliance.

Changi Airport Group (CAG)

‍Mr Tan Lye Teck, Executive Vice President, Airport Management

OpenGov recognised CAG for the Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) suite at Terminal 4 (T4) of Changi Airport. Since last October, T4’s featured enables passengers self-service options at various stages of departure - check-in, bag drop, immigration and boarding.

As part of the FAST process, the facial recognition technology is used to authenticate each passenger’s identity. This automated process replaces the need for manual identity verification by staff. The Automated Immigration Gate (AIG) at T4 uses a dual facial and thumbprint biometric recognition system. The passenger’s photo is captured and matched against the one in the passport. At the Automated Boarding Gate (ABG), passengers only need to scan their boarding pass at the boarding gate and authenticate their identity by taking a photo. The facial recognition system matches this photo against the photo taken earlier at the AIG.

Cyber Security Agency (CSA)

‍Mr Stephen Sim, Deputy Director for Strategy

OpenGov recognised CSA for its efforts in establishing the Cybersecurity Bill to strengthen the protection of Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) in Singapore. Passed into law on 5 February 2018, the Bill provides a framework for the regulation of CII and formalises the duties of CII owners in ensuring the cybersecurity of their respective CIIs. For each sector, CSA worked closely with the relevant sector regulator to identify the essential services within the sector, as well as the computers and computer systems.

Noting that the cybersecurity environment is fast-changing, in formulating this Bill, the Singapore Government studied cybersecurity legislation from other countries and continues to take reference from internationally recognised standards and emerging trends.

Government Technology Agency (GovTech)

‍Mr Fabian Chew, Assistant Director and Mr John Tng, Lead Software Engineer, Application Infrastructure

GovTech has been recognised for its Content Websites Platform (CWP) and the API exchange (APEX).

As a common hosting platform for government websites, the CWP has been supporting the government agencies in improving the digital shopfront and the user experience. The CWP is a common secured environment based on a resilient, robust and controlled platform which provides a suite of standardised software for hosting content-based websites. It enables unclassified government websites to be centrally managed and operated on public cloud, bringing the benefits of convenience, greater security, optimisation of resources, faster deployment speed and cost savings through economies of scale.

The APEX, which has been developed by GovTech in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, serves as a centralised data sharing platform for government agencies to share data conveniently and securely through the use of Application Programming Interfaces or APIs. The Exchange will enable central monitoring and security management for the APIs. APEX also facilitates secure transfer of data between the public-facing front-end i.e. the Internet and the back-end (Intranet).

Using APEX, public agencies can manage and maintain their data APIs and data consumption in real-time and obtain an overview of the popularity and usage of their shared datasets, so that they can constantly improve their datasets according to popularity and demand. APEX is part of the application infrastructure in the Singapore Government Technology Stack (SGTS), a centrally-managed platform for public sector agencies to build their digital applications.

Housing & Development Board (HDB)

‍Ms Tan Chew Ling, Group Director (Estate Admin and Property)

The HDB has been recognised for its HDB resale portal to streamline the resale transaction process for public housing in Singapore.Launched on 1 January this year, the new online HDB resale portal minimises the need for manual entry of data. All eligibility checks are integrated on a single platform. Flat buyers will also be able to view their eligibility for housing grants and an HDB concessionary housing loan through the portal. The entire transaction time, from submission to completion of the resale application, is expected to be shortened by up to 8 weeks from 16 weeks previously.

This illustrates HDB’s continuous efforts to streamline its resale process, reduce transaction time and provide added convenience to flat buyers and sellers, under the initiatives of the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (REITM). It also shows how HDB is leveraging technology to enhance its services and improve customers’ convenience.

The HDB has been recognised for its HDB resale portal to streamline the resale transaction process for public housing in Singapore.Launched on 1 January this year, the new online HDB resale portal minimises the need for manual entry of data. All eligibility checks are integrated on a single platform. Flat buyers will also be able to view their eligibility for housing grants and an HDB concessionary housing loan through the portal. The entire transaction time, from submission to completion of the resale application, is expected to be shortened by up to 8 weeks from 16 weeks previously.

This illustrates HDB’s continuous efforts to streamline its resale process, reduce transaction time and provide added convenience to flat buyers and sellers, under the initiatives of the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (REITM). It also shows how HDB is leveraging technology to enhance its services and improve customers’ convenience.

Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

Mr Shaik Umar, Assistant Director (SMEs Go Digital)

OpenGov recognised IMDA for its continuous efforts to help SMEs go digital through the SMEs Go Digital programme. Announced at Budget 2017, the SMEs Go Digital programme takes on a more structured and inclusive approach towards the adoption of digital technologies by SMEs. Since its roll-out in April 2017, the Programme has been helping SMEs in the adoption and use of digital technology to boost their productivity and build their digital capability and participate in the digital economy.

To enable SMEs to continually benefit from innovative digital solutions, IMDA is progressively raising the standards of the pre-approved digital solutions under SMEs Go Digital programme and catalyse the development of digital platforms that provides them access to game changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.

Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS)

‍Mr Louis Lam, Assistant Director, Population Enablement

Singapore’s HealthTech agency IHiS has been recognised for driving Singapore’s Smart Health initiative, with the launch of Smart Health Video Consultation and TeleRehab in 2017. These national Telehealth pilots empower patients to self-manage their condition, save them travelling time, costs and waiting time at the hospital, as well as improve healthcare professionals’ productivity.

Smart Health Video Consultation leverages the prevalent use of consumer devices with cameras to enable patients to remotely consult their care team online, from anywhere they are. Designed for use in healthcare, the high quality video and audio conferencing platform allows multi-party video conferencing for consultation with multi-disciplinary care teams, annotation and sharing documents, facilitating provider-to-patient consultations as well as collaboration and training sessions between healthcare providers. 

Smart Health TeleRehab (TR) empowers patients to perform prescribed rehabilitation exercises at their convenience via guided videos. The use of wearable sensors by patients in conjunction with a patent-pending algorithm enable therapists to remotely and asynchronously monitor patients’ performance via a smart metrics dashboard. Co-created by NUS, IHiS, and local startup T-Rehab, TR helps patients who may not be mobile to have greater access to therapy, and helps therapists more accurately assess patients, with about 30% productivity gain.

Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)

Mr Darren Chan, Director, CIO‍

IPOS has been recognised for transforming itself from an IP registry and regulator to builder of Singapore’s innovation ecosystem. Since the release of the IP Hub Master Plan in 2013, the IPOS has been addressing gaps in the areas of IP creation, protection and commercialisation, along the verticals of expertise, regime and marketplace.    

Last year, IPOS announced a series of initiatives in line with the recommendation of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) report, to strengthen Singapore’s innovation ecosystem and build capabilities to help enterprises innovate and scale up. While being a registry and regulator of Singapore’s IP, IPOS is also active being a builder and facilitator of innovation in recent times, leveraging on its IP expertise and networks to drive Singapore’s growth in the digital economy.

Land Transport Authority (LTA)

‍Mr Lam Wee Shann, Group Director (Technology & Industry Development)

OpenGov recognised LTA for taking forward Singapore's Smart Mobility plans. LTA has been supportive in the piloting and testing of autonomous vehicles (AVs) to provide convenient first-last mile connectivity and will be particularly useful for the elderly, families with young children and the less mobile. Last December, Singapore opened its first AV test centre. The new 2-hectare test facility at JID, Singapore’s largest living lab, has been jointly developed by LTA, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and JTC Corporation. Designed to replicate Singapore’s roads, the CETRAN AV Test Centre will allow AVs to be tested under real-world environments. ST Kinetics and NTU ERI@N have plans to commence their autonomous bus trials at the CETRAN AV Test Centre this year.

All these are part of Singapore’s continued Smart Nation efforts to develop Smart Urban Mobility solutions that leverage data and digital technologies to enhance the public transport commute.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

‍Ms Tan Aik Na, Vice President (Administration)

OpenGov recognised NTU for its effort to build a Smart Campus. Earlier this year, President of NTU Professor Subra Suresh unveiled NTU’s Smart Campus vision which aims to harness the power of digital technology and tech-enabled solutions to support better learning and living experiences, the discovery of new knowledge, and the sustainability of resources.

Since then, NTU has established the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH), a new learning hub called the ARC, and announced other initiatives like the Smart Pass, trials for Singapore’s first electric bicycle-sharing service, development of the autonomous electric buses; and trials of an ultra-fast charging electric shuttle in collaboration with BlueSG Pte Ltd.

SkillsFuture Singapore

‍Mr Chan Lee Mun, Chief Skills Officer, Skills Development Group

OpenGov recognised SkillsFuture Singapore for development Skills frameworks for Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) to nurture talents in Singapore.

The Skills Framework is an integral component of the ITMs and it is co-created by Employers, Industry Associations, Unions and Government for the Singapore workforce. It provides key information on sector and employment, career pathways, occupations or job roles, as well as existing and emerging skills required for the occupations or job roles. It also provides a list of training programmes for skills upgrading and mastery.

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